(NaturalHealth365) Starting classes, meeting new kids and teachers, playing sports, after school activities plus band practice – some parents are exhausted simply thinking about what’s ahead for the new school-year shuffle. But, no matter what, our kids rely on us for the self-care practices that help keep all of this in check.
Beyond supporting kids with organic, pesticide and GMO-free superfood-packed lunches and quality sleep as well as immune protecting supplements like vitamin D3, probiotics and essential fatty acids, here are three integrative wellness practices I suggest in private practice to help protect child and adolescent immunity all year long.
A time-honored, proven way to boost immune function
Acupuncture: As both a facilitator and receiver, I can speak directly to the healing power of monthly acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture stimulates natural killer cell activity when necessary and regulates other immune activity.
And, yes, acupuncture is ideal for children because of this – it offers in-the-moment acute care for any type of immune concern as well as long-term prevention to keep the immune system strong. New to acupuncture and think your child will shy away from needles? Don’t worry, the single-use, sterile needles are hair thin and are gently placed along the skin’s surface.
A great way to protect your child’s emotional wellbeing
Cranial osteopathy: Remember, whether your child is just entering kindergarten or about to graduate high school, the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time. Signs of your kid’s emotional stress will show up differently – you may notice attention and focus issues, excessive fatigue, mood fluctuations or irritability, asthma, headaches and susceptibility to infection.
Cranial osteopathy, often called cranial therapy, works by helping to re-establish the connection between the nervous system and primary respiration. When communication between the para- and sympathetic nervous systems aligns, emotional wellness can thrive.
Let’s not forget the obvious for optimal health
Drink fresh, organic juices. While you may already be juicing – are your kids enjoying the benefits yet? They already see you throwing vegetables, fruits and herbs into the juicer daily, so why not get them involved?
For example, our daughter enjoys the same immune promoting juices we prepare fresh on a daily basis. If your kids are new to it, start with familiar favorites such as watermelon.
Our juicing expert, here at NaturalHealth365, Linda Kordich suggests juicing watermelon with the rind for maximum nutritional value. With pumpkin season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to introduce your kids to juicing. Juicing experts, like Linda, agree that by removing toxins from the body and promoting gut health, susceptibility to infections decreases while overall immune health is enhanced.
About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.